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Our Trainers

Lead Coaches

Elizabeth Wipff

(a.k.a. “Elastigirl”, “Bendy”)

Elizabeth is a committed movement and mobility specialist, CrossFit coach and Yoga Tune Up® teacher with an insatiable eagerness to help people streamline movement, improve performance, and eliminate pain.

Her athletic endeavors started early: she walked at 7 months, was roller skating at 3 and did her first yoga pose at 4! As a kid she played soccer and studied dance, Iyengar yoga, and therapeutic movement modalities.

Elizabeth’s lifelong passion for movement, years of theater studies, enthusiasm for fostering healthy functional movement in her clients, and knack for communicating information concisely and convincingly make her a sought after teacher. She has been teaching yoga, Yoga Tune Up® and CrossFit in NYC and nationally since 1999.

Elizabeth is thrilled to be able to unite her two passions–CrossFit and Yoga–and to be able to help the CrossFit community become stronger, healthier, and more powerful athletes through the techniques of Yoga Tune Up®.

Elizabeth’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course
  • CrossFit Speciality Trainer Courses:
    • Gymnastics
    • Kettlebell
    • Olympic Weightlifting
    • Movement, Mobility and Maintenance
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • Yoga teacher trainings, including:
    • Yoga Tune Up®
    • Yoga Union 300-hr with Alison West

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH ELIZABETH »

Juan Blanco

(a.k.a. “Blanco”)

Blanco is a CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting coach, and an opera singer. Yes, CrossFitters sing opera!

As a child, Blanco was often called “husky” and always picked last in kickball. He battled with his weight, a struggle that would follow him into adulthood. Five years ago, weighing an impressive 280 pounds, Blanco found himself at a crossroads. In one direction was continued unhappiness and ill health. In the other was the hard road to fitness. After struggling through a series of false starts, including a diet named after a Miami beach and some questionable pharmaceutical remedies, he found CrossFit.

In the past five years, he has shed 100 pounds and is in the best shape of his life. If you want to see the kind of transformation that’s possible, ask to see his old photos. They’re pretty incredible, and as an added bonus you’ll get a great laugh from his Florida “frosted tips” hairstyle.

Blanco is truly happy to share his experience and help other people along the road to transformation!

Blanco’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course
  • CrossFit Speciality Trainer Courses:
    • Gymnastics
    • Kettlebell
    • Olympic Weightlifting
    • Endurance
    • CrossFit Kids
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH BLANCO »

Joey Swidler

(a.k.a. “Stix”)

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Joey was not a very athletic kid. He warmed the bench in basketball, was thrown in right field in baseball and was picked last for dodgeball. After college, Joey decided to put some muscle on his scrawny 145lb frame. After a year of so called ‘weight training,’ Joey had not seen any significant gains.

In 2008, Joey discovered CrossFit and it changed his world. Since then, he has learned how beneficial functional movement is to our daily lives. After seeing how it changed his own lifestyle, he wanted to give back and began coaching. As a Lead Coach for CrossFit Virtuosity and the Brooklyn Barbell Club, he has over 1000 hours of group coaching and personal training experience, and over 500 hours working with kids and teens.

Joey specializes in Olympic Weightlifting, and is one of the two head coaches of the Brooklyn Barbell Club Olympic Weightlifting team. The team has competed in several local USA Weightlifting competitions, medaling in all of them. The BBC has also produced 2 junior national qualifying lifters, including one who has competed at the national level alongside Pan Americans and Olympians. He is also currently a seminar staff intern for CrossFit Weightlifting certifications.

Joey thoroughly enjoys working with individuals of with any level of athleticism. He particularly enjoys working with teens, where the goal is not only to build a solid foundation of fitness but to instill values of dedication, community, and hard work.

Joey’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course
  • CrossFit Speciality Trainer Courses:
    • Gymnastics
    • Kettlebell
    • Olympic Weightlifting
    • Nutrition
    • CrossFit Kids
  • USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH JOEY »

Matthew Bernstein

(a.k.a. “Chazz Michael Michaels”, “Sex On Ice”)

Matt realized he had a natural aptitude for teaching while still a
teenager, helping fellow students learn to climb at his high school’s
rock climbing facility.

Seeking to combine his educational talents with his love of the
outdoors, Matt attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a BS in Kinesiology: Outdoor Education. He then moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he served the community as both a professional ski patrolman and career firefighter. Working in two careers where the unknown and the unknowable are an everyday occurrence, he developed a deep appreciation for why CrossFit is such an effective and life-changing program.

He is passionate about nutrition and is currently studying under the Ido Portal Method.

Matt’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course
  • CrossFit Speciality Trainer Courses:
    • Gymnastics
    • Kettlebell
    • Movement, Mobility and Maintenance
    • Olympic Weightlifting
    • CrossFit Kids

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH MATT »

Associate Coaches

Ariel Fernandez

(a.k.a. “Candi”)

Ariel’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH ARIEL »

Rob Swayze

(a.k.a. “Swayze”, “McFly”, “Handsome”)

Rob’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH ROB »

Justin Algera

(a.k.a. “Thor”)

Justin has been playing sports and lifting weights for the better part of his life. A one-time D-1 football player, he has been part of the CrossFit community since 2005, and knows his way around a barbell (to say the least!)

Justin’s goal as a trainer is to get you bigger, faster, and stronger than you were before you walked through the doors. He believes no matter what the program, there’s no substitute for blood, sweat, and tears when it comes to getting fit.

Justin’s primary focus is powerlifting: he is of the mind that it doesn’t get any better than a barbell and a rack. Mix in some running, jumping, throwing and a little bit of stretching and you have everything you need.

Justin’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Speciality Seminars:
    • Basic Barbells
    • Football
    • Gymnastics
    • Movement, Mobility and Maintenance
    • Olympic Weightlifting
    • Powerlifting
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH JUSTIN »

Junior Coaches

Kyle Fincham

Kyle grew up on the north shore of Lake Tahoe where he spent most of his time skiing, or praying for snow. His coaching career began at sixteen when he was hired by the local race foundation to teach its youngest shredders.

Kyle began teaching “bootcamp” classes and personal training when he realized dog walking in the winter wasn’t fun. Wishing to develop knowledge for the newfound career, he wandered into Crossfit Virtuosity to find someone to teach him gymnastics. As they say, the rest is history. He joined the coaching program soon after, and is thoroughly inspired by the coaches and athletes he has the privilege to spend his days with.

Kyle’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH KYLE »

Devin Kittle

Devin was introduced to CrossFit by a fellow baseball teammate in college who came across main site crossfit.com. After toying with CrossFit throughout college, he got serious about it after graduation. He watched pretty much every video in the CrossFit Journal and taught himself many of the basic movements.

After Equinox frowned upon his wall balls, handstand pushups, and cycling through multiple barbells, Devin found CrossFit Virtuosity and never looked back. After playing four years of college baseball and competing in 3 sports throughout high-school, it gave him something to continue to compete at.

Devin joined the CFV coaching program to both hone his skills and to help others in their athletic journey.

Devin’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Speciality Seminars:
    • Olympic Weightlifting

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH DEVIN »

Kim Alpert

(a.k.a. “Paleo Spice”)

Kim’s first taste of CrossFit was a free intro class at a gym in the city. After a 5 minute talk, they put her through a 12 minute AMRAP of strict pull ups, kettlebell cleans, and sit ups. Needless to say, she was terrified. Six months passed before she decided to give it another go, this time at Virtuosity, and this time it stuck.

Kim signed up for On Ramp, and was quickly hooked. The only problem: she was leaving for a semester abroad immediately afterward. She decided that she needed to leave her mark on the leaderboard so that we would remember her while she was away. When Karen was programmed the day before she left, she was ecstatic. She completed the WOD with an 8lb ball in the morning and decided to come back later and do it RX, in record time. She came back at night after a power nap and protein shake, ready to kill it. 3,2,1..GO! She got about 30 reps Rx before the time cap was up. It probably took the entire eight months she was in Spain for her quads to recover, but she joined CFV when she returned to the States and hasn’t looked back since!

Kim’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Speciality Seminars:
    • Olympic Weightlifting

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH KIM »

Michele Kelber

Michele’s qualifications include:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Speciality Seminars:
    • CrossFit Kids

SCHEDULE A PRIVATE WITH MICHELE »

Founders

Keith Wittenstein

Keith Wittenstein

(a.k.a. “Panda”, “Tyler Durden”, “The Mayor of CrossFitTown”)

Keith founded CrossFit Virtuosity.  He just so happens to be the only Level 3 CrossFit Trainer in the New York area.  Apparently that means he’s pretty badass.  Keith has been personally invited to coach at certification courses by luminaries such as Mark Rippetoe, Mike Burgener, Jeff Martone, and Jeff Tucker. He’s a member of the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff, which means he is an Official Source Of CrossFit Wisdom, and gets to wear a pretty snazzy red shirt.

Before founding CrossFit Virtuosity, Keith founded CrossFit NYC, the first New York CrossFit affiliate, and the eighteenth affiliate nationwide.

Samantha Orme

(a.k.a. “Good Sam”)
Sam founded CrossFit Virtuosity and is its current owner. She is part office manager, client services manager, human resources director, art director, event planner, tech support, and accountant, and hence has all the real responsibility around here.  She is a CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Kettlebell, CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting, and CrossFit Endurance Trainer, as well as certified by USA Weightlifting as a Sports Performance Coach. Sam sits around all day just waiting for Rip, Burgener, or Tucker to call and ask her to coach a cert, but so far no such luck.

A couple years back Sam decided on a whim to ride a bicycle across the continental United States and against all odds emerged unscathed.  Later, she ran a half marathon and found it far more challenging than the 4,000 mile bike ride.  Sam will understand why you want to be an endurance athlete, and will only try to talk you into training smarter.

Alumni

Gregg Martino — was Lead Coach, CrossFit Virtuosity; now Head Coach, CrossFit ONE Nation
Jay Hachadoorian — was Associate Coach, CrossFit Virtuosity; now Head Coach, CrossFit Gantry
Mario Barraza — was Assistant Coach, CrossFit Virtuosity; now Owner, ISLA CrossFit
Maillard Howell — was Assistant Coach, CrossFit Virtuosity; now Owner, CrossFit Prospect Heights
George Lee — was Assistant Coach, CrossFit Virtuosity; now Owner, Bushwick CrossFit